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Spring, TX 77379

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Home » What's New » Trouble Seeing the Fine Print? Here are Your Options…

Trouble Seeing the Fine Print? Here are Your Options…

Every good pair of eyes eventually gets old and with age comes a condition called presbyopia. Presbyopia, which usually begins to set in some time around 40, occurs when the lens of the eye begins to stiffen, making near vision (such as reading books, menus, and computer screens) blurry. You may have this age-related farsightedness if you notice yourself holding the newspaper further and further away in order to make out the words, and you may begin to experience headaches or eyestrain as well.

The good news is, presbyopia is very common. It happens to most of us eventually and these days there are a number of good options to correct it. First of all, let’s take a look at what causes the condition.

What Causes Presbyopia?

As the eye ages, the natural lens begins to lose its elasticity as the focusing muscles (the ciliary muscles) surrounding the lens have difficulty changing the shape of the lens. The lens is responsible for focusing light that comes into the eye onto the retina for clear vision. The hardened or less flexible lens causes the light which used to focus on the retina to shift its focal point behind the retina when looking at close objects. This causes blurred vision.

Presbyopia is a progressive condition that gets worse with time. It is a refractive error just like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.

Signs of presbyopia include:

  • Blurred near vision
  • Difficulty focusing on small print or close objects
  • Eyestrain, headaches or fatigue, especially when reading or doing close work
  • Holding reading material at a distance to see properly
  • Needing brighter light to see close objects

Presbyopia can be diagnosed through an eye exam.

Treatments for Presbyopia

There are a number of options for presbyopia treatment which include glasses, contact lenses or surgery.

Glasses

The most common form of correction is eyeglasses. Reading glasses adjust the focal point of the target to reduce the focusing demand on the eyes. A side effect of the convex lenses is that they also magnify the target. For some, reading glasses are sufficient to improve close vision. Others, especially those with another refractive error, require more complex lenses.

Bifocal or multifocal lenses, including progressive addition lenses (PALs), offer a solution for those with nearsightedness or farsightedness. These lenses have two or more prescriptions within the same lens, usually in different areas, to allow correction for distance vision and near vision within the same lens. While bifocals and standard multifocals typically divide the lenses into two hemispheres (or more), requiring the patient to look in the proper hemisphere depending on where they are focusing, with an unattractive contour calling attention to the presbyopia portion of the lens, progressive lenses provide a progressive transition of lens power creating a smooth, gradual change. Some people prefer progressive lenses for aesthetic reasons as they don’t have a visible line dividing the hemispheres.

Contact Lenses

Like glasses, contact lenses are also available in bifocal and multifocal lenses. Alternatively, some eye doctors will prescribe monovision contact lens wear, which divides the vision between your eyes. Typically it fits your dominant eye with a single vision lens for distance vision and your weaker eye with a single vision lens for near vision. Sometimes your eye doctor will prescribe modified monovision which uses a multifocal lens in the weaker eye to cover intermediate and near vision. Newer contact lens technology is making both lenses multifocal, and therefore doctors are becoming less dependent on monovision. Sometimes monovision takes a while to adjust to.

Based on your prescription, your eye doctor will help you decide which option is best for you and assist you through the adjustment period to determine whether this is a feasible option. Since there are so many baby boomers with presbyopia nowadays, the contact lens choices have expanded a lot within recent years.

Surgery

There are a few surgical treatments available for presbyopia. These include monovision LASIK surgery (which is a refractive surgery that works similar to monovision glasses or contact lenses), corneal inlays or onlays (implants placed on the cornea), refractive lens exchange (similar to cataract surgery, this replaces the old, rigid lens with a manufactured intraocular lens), and conductive keratoplasty (which uses radio waves to reshape the cornea in a noninvasive procedure).

Medication - On the Horizon

There are currently clinical trials with promising early results that are testing eye drops that restore the flexibility of the human lens. It could be possible that in the near future eye drop prescriptions could be used to reduce the amount of time that people have to use reading glasses or contact lenses.

These procedures vary in cost, recovery and outcome. If you are interested in surgery, schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable doctor to learn all of the details of the different options.

As people are living longer, presbyopia is affecting a greater percentage of the population and more research is being done into treatments for the condition. So if your arm is getting tired from holding books so far away, see your eye doctor to discuss the best option for you.

Klein Eyecare update for COVID-19 (3/20/20)

As we all navigate the unprecedented pandemic facing our country, we would like you to know that the safety of our patients and our staff are of utmost importance to us as we simultaneously continue to care for your eye care needs.  For this reason, we have implemented an extremely rigorous sanitization program and have dramatically reduced the number of people and patient encounters in the office.  We will be open and continue to offer eye care services during this time under the following circumstances:

We will be available for any eye care service that either the patient or our office feels is of any sort of urgent nature.  (Examples could be eye infections, decreased vision, lost or broken glasses, sudden or recent change of vision or prescription, flashes or floaters, or any other reason that our patients feel they need to be seen.)  Patients may be asked to wait in their cars until we call each patient back to maintain adequate social distancing.  We will also ask each patient to wash their hands before being seen. 

We will not be seeing anyone with a fever, anyone that has been in contact with anyone who has been ill, or anyone who has traveled out of the country in the last two weeks.

We will extend contact lens prescriptions for a limited time and will offer free shipping to your home/office.

We will be available for glasses pick-ups by appointment only.  We will not be adjusting glasses at this time, but we do recommend coming back for adjustments once this situation clears.  We will also be happy to deliver them to your car.

Our office remains open with some adjustments to our hours and staffing.  We are here if you have any questions, concerns, or need to make any contact lens orders.  We will also continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.

Regards,

Richard Scott, OD

Grant Gibson, OD

Lance Abernathy, OD


Do you have enough contacts???

With the day to day changes surrounding COVID-19, we know that many of you may be concerned that you have enough contact lenses. With that being said if you are a contact lens wearer and currently have less than a 3 month supply left, we highly recommend that you place an order now. We will ship them directly to you at no charge.  We will extend contact lens prescription expiration dates as needed. 

Call 281-370-2020 to place your order.